Kosmina urges his players to fight on

Sydney FC coach John Kosmina has urged his players to go on with the job after they shared the spoils with the Melbourne Victory in the opening round of the Hyundai-A League 2008/09 Season.

Sydney FC coach John Kosmina has urged his players to go on with the job after they shared the spoils with the Melbourne Victory in the opening round of the Hyundai-A League 2008/09 Season.

Having been forced to field an under-strength line-up for the season opener, Sydney will be boosted by the return of Olyroos midfielder Stuart Musialik as well as suspended duo Alex Brosque and Dez Giraldi for Saturday's clash with the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.

But while Kosmina says his side will make the journey up the F3 high in confidence, he predicted a typically tough encounter against a Mariners side eager to kick-start their campaign following their own first-up draw.

"They're at home, they'll want to take a step up, we know what they'll play like," Kosmina said.

"It's going to be intense, they'll pressurise us so we've just got to make sure we deal with it."

"Maybe the Mariners were a little bit lucky to come out of (round one) with a point based on their second-half performance last week (against Newcastle Jets), I thought the first half they probably took the points if it was a boxing match."

"We were a bit lucky to come out with a point as well so we've both got something to look forward to I think."

Kosmina is confident the addition former Newcastle Jets and Olyroos team-mates Musialik and striker Mark Bridge - who came on as a replacement in the 60th minute against Melbourne - will prove invaluable.

"They know each other's games inside out obviously playing at the same club for three years and also with the (Olyroos)," he said.

"But they combine well, 'Stuey's' a good reader of the game, a good natural reader of the game and I think that helps our players as well."

"He can put his foot on the ball when he needs to, he keeps it and he gets out of difficult situations reasonably comfortably so he will be an asset to us in the middle of the park."

Quizzed on the intense rivalry that exists between the two inaugural A-League Grand Finalists, Kosmina labelled the tension between the clubs on and off the field good for the game.

"They've already fired the first shots," Kosmina observed.

"Singo (passionate Mariners supporter John Singleton) came out in the paper and made a few comments this morning, and you'd expect that because he is an advertising guru after all."

"It's part and parcel of the game, it's good we've got this kind of local rivalry and it's become a bit tribal - it's great."

"Their supporters aren't too keen on us as ours aren't on theirs so hopefully we get a good bunch turn up tomorrow and sing our praises and it'll be a bit of fun off the park as well."